The Walking White House Dead: Trump Declares Whatever He Doesn’t Like to Be Deceased

The White House released its first medical exam results on Tuesday and, lo and behold, they heralded the excellent health of Donald Trump. Never mind that his doctor warned that he’s border line obese, has high cholesterol, shows evidence of heart disease, has “stroke issues,” and worst of all, is on a hair loss prevention medication.

Donald Trump

The real health problems that plague the Trump White House are all the corpses laying around of policies and opponents that Trump has certified as having expired. The latest one is what Trump calls the “Russian Collusion Hoax,” which he declared dead in a tweet Tuesday morning:

Of course, Trump is not a doctor, nor has he played one on TV. So his diagnosis cannot be regarded as reliable. Especially since all the evidence shows a healthy investigation into Trump’s unsavory connections to Russia with a strong prognosis for impeachment. And Trump’s assertion that “the public gets it” is only true if what he means is that the public knows that he’s a pathological liar.

Recent polling shows that sixty-one percent of Americans think that the Russia probes are a serious matter that should be fully investigated. Only thirty-four percent disagree. Trump’s handling of Russia is favored by a mere thirty-two percent, while fifty-six percent disapprove. A majority of fifty-six percent also say that Trump’s comments on the Russia probe have been mostly or completely false. And special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation has an overall approval rating of forty-seven percent vs. only thirty-four percent who disapprove of Mueller.

So it’s difficult to conclude that the Russia collusion story has seen its final days. What’s more, along with Muellers investigation and at least one Grand Jury, there are multiple committees in Congress conducting ongoing inquiries. Four indictments have been issued with trials pending, and two Trump associates having pleaded guilty. Just today Trump’s former campaign chair and chief strategist, Steve Bannon, was subpoenaed to appear before the Grand Jury.

But the Russia affair is only one of Trump’s victims. He has previously announced the demise of numerous media enterprises. Most famously, Trump likes to refer to the “failing” New York Times, despite the record subscriptions and revenues they are enjoying. But there’s more where that came from:

There have been at least twelve death notices on Twitter that declared ObamaCare vanquished. Even though it had a record number of new sign-ups last year, despite Trump’s fierce efforts to sabotage it. Here are a couple representative tweets.

And of course, according to Trump, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program kicked the bucket too. That remains to be seen since it is currently being debated in Congress with Democrats determined to preserve it. The vast majority of Americans (eighty-six percent) favor allowing Dreamers to remain in the country. Despite that overwhelming public support, Trump and his Republican comrades are standing firm in opposition to the American people:

Donald Trump is distinguishing himself as the “Sixth Sense” president. Everywhere he turns he sees dead people or policies or other carcasses of whatever has riled him up for the moment. It’s a morbid existence he must endure in a White House draped in black. But it’s also a delusional existence that defies reality as he endeavors to force his demons on the rest of the nation.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

To CNN’s Jake Tapper: You HAVE Wasted Enough of Your Viewers’ Time, So Stop Doing It

On Sunday morning’s episode of CNN’s State of the Union, there was a remarkable interview by Jake Tapper. His guest was Donald Trump’s senior advisor for policy, and thirty-two year old man still stuck in a temper tantrum he began as a five year old, Stephen Miller. The segment (video below) was a train wreck due to Miller’s relentless interruptions and shameless Trump-fluffing.

CNN Stephen Miller

Tapper took a fair amount of abuse from Miller who accused him of being condescending, snide, and joyful for opportunities to “stick the knife in.” These personal insults were designed to evade the actual questions that Tapper asked. For instance, Tapper inquired twice whether Trump met with the people that attended Don Jr.’s meeting with Russians at Trump Tower, as Steve Bannon said. In the course of Miller’s evasion, he never denied that Trump met with those Russians.

The majority of the interview consisted of Miller fawning over his boss. He described Trump as a political genius who “took down the Bush dynasty, took down the Clinton dynasty, took down the entire media complex.” Miller’s adoration of Trump was all-consuming and more than a little nauseating. He refused to allow a question to interrupt his arrogant filibustering. Which led to Tapper reclaiming control of his show and muzzling Trump’s unhinged attack dog:

“Okay, you’re not answering the questions, I get it. There’s one viewer that you care about right now and you’re being obsequious, you’re being a factotum in order to please him. And I think I’ve wasted enough of my viewers’ time.”

With that, Tapper went to a commercial. This was exactly how a journalist with integrity should behave under these circumstances. It’s one thing to assure that all sides have an opportunity to be heard, but it’s something else to permit a political shill to hijack a news program for the purpose of force-feeding propaganda to the audience. If an interview subject is more interested in spewing talking points than honestly answering questions, then the interview should be terminated. One measure of Tapper’s correctness is the rage-soaked and delusional response he got shortly after from Trump:

While Tapper did exactly the right thing in this instance, he and most other TV reporters too often let themselves be exploited by partisan mouthpieces. It’s a game that Trump has benefited from since his first day as a presidential candidate. Every news network routinely broadcast his rallies in their entirety, despite the fact that they rarely contained anything that was newsworthy. And as President, Trump has dispatched surrogates like Kellyanne Conway and Sarah Huckabee Sanders who view their jobs as being willing to lie without restraint in the service of Trump’s ego.

The media needs to reevaluate its relationship to this presidency. There has never been an administration that was so openly hostile to the press. Nor, ironically, one that so flagrantly exploits the press to deceive the public and advance such a brazenly dishonest agenda. Trump loves to bash the media that he relies on to disseminate his hatred for it. And there is no reason that the media should tolerate that.

The press needs to cut off right-wing trolls more often, and refuse to host those who repeatedly lie. They have to stop hiring bootlickers (like CNN’s Jason Miller and Jack Kingston), who add little substance to any debate and are as predictable as the sunrise. The media must recommit itself to its core mission of informing the public and exposing the truth. Hosting people like Stephen Miller does not advance that goal. CNN isn’t helping itself or the country by hosting pathological liars. That’s what Fox News is for.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Trump is a ‘Very Stable Genius’ Who Mindlessly Repeats What He Just Saw on Fox and Friends

The questions about Donald Trump’s apparent psychological decline are rapidly becoming more than partisan speculation. And the person most responsible for affirming the President’s mental infirmity just happens to be Donald Trump. The more he talks about his own cerebral frailty, the more feeble he appears to be.

Fox News Trump

On Saturday morning Trump thought it was necessary to defend himself against the allegations that have been made by politicians, pundits, and mental health professionals. But his comments were a pathetic mess of ego and delusion. He tweeted that:

It is notable that these tweets were posted less than ten minutes after a segment on this subject was aired on Fox and Friends. This is a pattern that is repeated frequently by Trump who obviously watches the program religiously, despite saying that he doesn’t have time for television. The message in the tweets is one that should be of concern to all Americans.

First of all, the investigation into his involvement in Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election has not been proven to be a hoax. Quite the contrary. There have already been four indictments with two guilty pleas. The rest of what has been uncovered by the special counsel, Robert Mueller, is still under wraps. And PolitiFact awarded Trump it’s Lie of the Year for repeatedly making this statement about the matter being a hoax.

Secondly, no one has ever recognized Trump’s two greatest assets as his “mental stability” or “being, like, really smart.” And if he wants to make that claim himself he probably shouldn’t sound so much like a “Valley Girl.” (fer sure). His true assets were actually having been born into a wealthy family and having the shameless lack of character that permits him to lie, cheat, and steal to get what he wants.

His boasts about education are a lame attempt to cling to some alleged glory from half a century ago. And it’s all the more irrelevant since he refuses to release his college transcripts. Also, Trump has never been a successful businessman. He would be far richer if he had just invested his inheritance in an S&P 500 indexed mutual fund. With at least four bankruptcies, he can hardly lay claim to any business prowess. And like his college claims, Trump refuses to release his tax returns to validate his alleged success in business.

Finally, Trump’s self-exalting assertions about his sanity and brilliance are downright surreal. When was the last time you heard “a very stable genius” say he was a very stable genius? Smart people are the last people to say that they are smart. Trump’s bragging is actually a sort of certification of his ignorance and instability. And he elaborated on that theme in brief remarks to reporters at Camp David when a reporter asked “This morning you were tweeting about your mental state. Why did you feel the need to tweet about that this morning?”

Whereupon Trump regurgitated his tedious refrain about having been an “excellent student” and becoming a successful businessman and TV star. Then he drifted off into a diatribe against Fire and Fury author, Michael Wolff, and his former top White House aide, Sloppy Steve Bannon. Watch this video and see for yourself if he ever approaches a coherent answer to the question regarding his mental state:

Remember, the question was “Why did you feel the need to tweet about [your mental state] this morning?” The answer was aimless blather about his perception of his own awesomeness and his perceived enemies. That isn’t the response of someone who is either stable or a genius. If anything, Trump’s response this morning affirms the broadly held assessment that he is unfit for the office he holds. His inability to maintain a focus on the topic is a symptom of cognitive dysfunction. It’s a cry for help that everyone – from his family to his Republican peers – is ignoring. And the peril this represents to the nation, and the world, cannot be overstated.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Certified Nutcase Donald Trump Tries His Hand at Psychoanalyzing Steve Bannon

The fate of the world is shifting by the minute. On Tuesday Donald Trump was tweeting threats to Iran, Pakistan, and North Korea, and comparing the size of his “nuclear button” to that of Kim Jong Un. By Wednesday the battle royale was between Trump and his former friend and White House aide, Steve Bannon.

Trump/Bannon

A new book by Michael Wolff, Fire and Fury, presents a revealing look into the Trump White House. Some of the first publicly released excerpts show how Bannon really feels about the president he once served with such apparently fawning loyalty. And it’s not a pretty picture. Bannon is reported to have said that Don Junior’s meetings with Russians were treasonous and that Daddy Trump knew about them, despite his denials.

The book contains many other revelations that expose Trump as a flagrant fool who commanded no respect from those around him. Rupert Murdoch, CEO of Fox News, reportedly called him a “f**king moron.” And an aide tasked with explaining the Constitution described Trump as becoming bored and unwilling to continue past the Fourth Amendment. But it’s the Bannon comments that have caught the attention of Trump and, therefore, the media. Consequently, Trump released an official reply from the White that was as unhinged as anything we have ever seen from this acutely disturbed pseudo-president. He said in part:

“Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my Presidency. When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind. Steve was a staffer who worked for me after I had already won the nomination by defeating seventeen candidates. […] Steve was rarely in a one-on-one meeting with me and only pretends to have had influence to fool a few people with no access and no clue.”

This is typical Trumpian behavior that he employs to distance himself from close associates he later turns against. Although the degree of unrestrained anger reflects someone shockingly unglued from rational thought. Often Trump’s wrath is aimed at those he regards as having personally betrayed him. Even when he initiated the break in the relationship as he did in this case by firing Bannon.

Contrary to Trump’s outburst, Bannon was not merely a “staffer” on the sidelines of his presidency. Bannon was his campaign manager, and later the White House Chief Strategist with a seat on the National Security Council. In other words, the coffee boy. And Trump had a decidedly different opinion on the day that Bannon was released from his White House duties last August:

Just prior to his dismissal, Trump described Bannon in glowing terms calling him “a good person and I think the press treats him frankly very unfairly.” Now Trump asserts that Bannon has “lost his mind.” That’s a subject that Trump can claim some expertise on. Many psychiatric professionals have concluded that Trump is “too mentally ill to serve.” A group of psychiatric doctors and academics who met at Yale University found that Trump displays symptoms of a variety of mental illnesses, including antisocial and narcissistic personality disorders. That assessment agrees with others that found Trump suffering from “malignant narcissism” and an “inability to distinguish between fantasy and reality.” More recently, a doctor writing for The Atlantic noted Trump’s abnormalities in speech and movement that justified implementing routine mental evaluations for presidents.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Trump’s unbridled rage and fluctuating opinions are obvious symptoms of an acute mental disorder. And if something isn’t done about it soon, we can expect it to manifest in ever more perilous ways. That includes the potential for anything from continued soap opera melodrama in the White House to military conflicts and nuclear showdowns. And the more Trump feels threatened, either by former colleagues or special counsel investigations, the more dangerous he will become.

Sean Hannity Affirms That The Trump Cult Has Officially Replaced the Republican Party

The ascension of Donald Trump has heralded a new era of political absurdities. His unpredictable rise in the Republican Party came with unusually hostile pronouncements directed at GOP regulars. The objects of his contempt included John McCain, George W. Bush, and Mitch McConnell, to name a few. As an example of the schizophrenic nature of his fractured loyalties, Trump argued publicly with the Republican National Committee during the campaign, then named it’s chairman, Reince Priebus, as his chief of staff (briefly).

Donald Trump Tyrant Dictator

However, Trump’s true allegiance was always to his own self-interest. And the best gauge of where he stood at any moment was the cast of characters at Fox News. The “Curvy Couch” potatoes on Fox and Friends, his personal pals, and fellow sexual predators, Bill O’Reilly and Roger Ailes, and the premiere suck-up of the century, Sean Hannity, were (and are) his closest advisers. The relationship between Trump and his shadow cabinet of Foxies is excruciatingly tight.

So it may not come as a surprise to hear Hannity lash out at the party for which he has been a devoted toady for the last twenty years. With his infatuation for Trump growing by the day, Hannity has completely abandoned his long-held political commitments in favor of a new faithfulness to the emerging Trump Cult. And in the spirit of that betrayal, Hannity prostrated himself to the Pope of Trumpism, Steve Bannon, to declare and affirm that the Republican Party is dead:

“Here’s my view on the Republican Party. It is a dead party. They are morally corrupt, they are weak. They are ineffective, they’re vision-less, and they have no identity.”

Who can argue with that? Hannity went on to lament that he was “heartbroken” by what he said was the failure of trust by the GOP turning on Trump. It was behavior that he called “total and complete bullshit.” What precisely he is talking about is a mystery, considering the GOP’s blind obedience to Trump’s every delusional whim. They are a party that has stood by him despite his “pussy-grabbing” confession of sexual assaults, his denouncement of fellow party icons, his embrace of racist white nationalists, his admiration for brutal and oppressive tyrants like Vladimir Putin, and his infantile taunting of nuclear-powered foreign adversaries.

For a well known Republican bootlicker like Hannity to publicly renounce his party in favor of a reality TV game show host turned wannabe dictator should be profoundly disturbing to Republican politicians and voters. They are being thrown over for a faker who has manged to sell a shitload of snake oil to a pitifully ignorant minority of gullible Americans. But the Trump Cult movement is about as thick as a hair’s breadth. As soon as he wanders off to his golf resort retirement, or is paraded into a prison cell, the true believers will disperse and deny they ever supported him.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

It isn’t certain that after Trump’s downfall his former disciples will re-embrace the GOP. Consequently, Trumpitis may be a fatal disease that ushers the party to its inevitable demise. And if the rest of us live through these difficult days until Trump shuffles off the stage, the damage he does to the right-wing may turn out to be blessing. If only the wait wasn’t so painful and dangerous.

Donald Trump is Still the White Supremacist-in-Chief, Bannon/Breitbart Wing Declares War

TGIF: Donald Trump has had a disastrous week (again). He spent much of it taking the side of white supremacists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia. He’s suffered an exodus of supporters and resignations from his advisory councils. Even conservative Republican allies in Congress are questioning his stability and competence. And to top it off he has just jettisoned his Chief Strategist and ideological mentor, Steve Bannon.

Trump Bannon

Make no mistake, this is not a transitional moment for Trump. He isn’t pivoting to become more presidential. He doesn’t have the foggiest notion of what that even means. The banishing of Bannon had nothing to do with his overtly racist views or his bragging about being the voice of the alt-right. Bannon was kicked out of the White House because a recent interview with the American Prospect pissed the President off. In it Bannon diminished Trump and took credit for what he regards as accomplishments. Trump’s ego could not abide that.

For the record, Trump’s first seven months in office has undergone unprecedented turmoil. Here are just a few of the positions that have already turnover: Michael Flynn, National Security Advisor; James Comey, FBI; Sean Spicer, Press Secretary; Michael Dubke, Communications Director; Anthony Scaramucci, Communications Director; Reince Priebus, Chief of Staff; John Kelly, Homeland Security Secretary; Steve Bannon, Chief Strategist.

So what happens now? First of all, nothing changes at the White House. Trump will retain the mantle of the radical extremist he has adopted since entering politics. His administration is lousy with like minds. Sebastian Gorka, Stephen Miller, Kellyanne Conway, Jeff Sessions, etc., will continue to advance their right-wing bigotry. This is the house that Trump built and it’s still running on his repugnant fumes. As they say, the fishy stink (of racism) emanates from the head.

But Bannon’s future is much more interesting. Sources say that he will be heading back to his previous post as chairman of Breitbart News. He has been seen meeting recently with the billionaire Mercer family who bankroll the website. It’s fair to assume that he’s seeking additional funding. And upon his return he may have something to say about his tenure at the White House and his humiliating ouster. Gabriel Sherman of New York Magazine has been watching these events closely. He tweeted this following the news of Bannon’s exit:

That prediction has already been confirmed by Joel Pollak, senior editor-at-large for Breitbart News. Pollak posted a one-word tweet that said simply “#WAR” With Bannon back in charge, Breitbart is likely to begin an offensive blitz on Trump, his family, and his inner circle. He has no history of placing loyalty over ideology. And the ideology to which he adheres is one of alt-right jihadism.

Look for the GOP extremists to fall in line behind Bannon. They will accuse Trump of caving in to the globalists and becoming just another mainstream RINO. As if he were ever a real Republican in the first place. And this opposition will trigger Trump’s knee-jerk defensiveness and whiny victimhood. What did they expect? He lied his way to the White House and the alt-rightists tolerated it because they they thought they could control him. The same is true for the evangelicals that betrayed their faith in order to back Trump.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Now they are all learning the hard way what Democrats and liberals warned them about. Trump is a malignant narcissist who can’t be trusted. He is only in this for himself. Anything that gratifies his ego or fattens his wallet will gain his support. Criticism or inquiries into his corrupt finances will draw his ire. Which makes this a good time to remember that the special counsel, Robert Mueller, is still hard at work. The end of this road for Trump is humiliation and defeat. He will either resign in disgrace or be impeached and prosecuted. And perhaps, if justice prevails, both.

UVA Prof to Trump: Fire All the White Nationalists on [Your] Staff, Starting with Steve Bannon’

The tragedy that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday has ironically united the nation. Most decent Americans are repulsed by the bigotry espoused by the alt-right white nationalists who organized the event. Unfortunately, the President is not among them.

Trump/Bannon

Donald Trump’s initial response to the violence was to issue a mealy-mouthed statement that blamed “all sides.” But only one side engaged in deliberate hostilities that resulted in the death of a young woman. Trump’s callous and tone-deaf response was criticized by Republicans and Democrats alike. Reacting to that criticism, the White House put out an anonymous, unsigned statement that continued to ignore the reality of the tragic events:

“The President said very strongly in his statement yesterday that he condemns all forms of violence, bigotry and hatred. And of course that includes white supremacists, KKK, neo-nazi and all extremist groups.”

So now it “includes” white supremacists. Which, of course, is reaffirmation of his position that it also includes others. He is still trying to dilute the grotesque actions of the bigots who are unarguably responsible. And the process of dilution is being carried out by Trump’s surrogates. On CNN’s State of the Union, Tom Bossert had a peculiar excuse for Trump not identifying the racists. He said that the President didn’t want to “dignify the names of these groups.” That argument flies in the face of relentless insistence that Muslims had to be identified as “radical Islamic terrorists.”

On the Fox News morning program, Fox and Friends, co-host Pete Hegseth sympathized with the racists. He complained on their behalf that they feel like they’re being “treated differently” and have become “second-class citizens.” Poor privileged, snowflake, babies.

Consequently, it was encouraging to hear someone on TV tell the truth about the rioting white supremacists. On CNN’s Reliable Sources, University of Virginia professor Larry Sabato didn’t mince words. And he gave some harsh advice to the President who can’t seem to do or say anything right. Here is the exchange he had with host Brian Stelter (video below):

Stelter: Would what the President says in the coming days matter in Charlottesville? Would it actually help or affect the community?

Sabato: Thanks for asking that, Brian, because Donald Trump, of course, is very unpopular anyway here, but he missed his moment. He had the opportunity to do something when it mattered yesterday afternoon. And any of his predecessors in modern times would have had the good instincts to say the right things. He wouldn’t because he won’t denounce part of his base. They’re white supremacists. We know what they are. We know who they voted for.

So listen Brian, if he wants to do something to help us and everbody else, let him fire all the white nationalists on his staff, starting with Steve Bannon. Actions speak louder than words. Words written by his staff.

Stelter: You know Bannon would reject being described as a white nationalist?

Sabato: I don’t care. We’ve read all that we need to read. And there are others on that staff too. You know darn well there are.

Exactly! Prior to joining Trump’s campaign, Bannon was the chairman of Breitbart News. The website openly bragged that it was “the platform for the alt-right.” He now occupies an office down the hall from the Oval Office. And he is likely the author of the statements that tread so lightly on the hateful culprits of the violence in Charlottesville.

Sabato’s observance that there are others in the Trump White House who hold these disgusting views is indisputable. On an earlier appearance on CNN he named one of them. Sebastian Gorka is a special advisor to the President. He also happens to be a former Breitbart editor and is associated with known Nazi groups. But people like Bannon and Gorka are among Trump’s favorite advisers. He isn’t likely to fire them and piss off his base of supporters.

As a result, Trump will continue to get counsel from the worst of the worst. And it’s precisely what he asked for. This is not a case of clandestine fascists infiltrating the government. These are people that Trump selected with full knowledge of their resumes. And if he thinks he can paper over these abhorrent cretins and their hateful philosophies, he is going to be sorely disappointed. Americans will not long tolerate this. Trump already has the worst approval ratings of any president in modern history. Don’t look for that to improve anytime soon.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Could Trump Be Prosecuted for Leaks Under New Department of Justice Directive?

The still nascent presidency of Donald Trump is rife with controversies and scandals. His financial conflicts of interests and unsavory connections to Russia have dominated his short tenure in office. Additionally, he has produced no legislative accomplishments. Most notably, the failure of his efforts to kill ObamaCare went down in flames. He has made no progress on immigration, taxes, terrorism, or his lame-brained border wall.

Rod Rosenstein Fox New

However, Trump regularly signals what issues are of most importance to him. And judging by the frequency of his tweets, it has little to do with matters critical to the nation. Rather, he is variously obsessed with either the media, last November’s election, or the torrent of White House leaks. Most experts agree that leaks occur when an organization is in disarray. But in Trump World it is blamed on a shadowy conspiracy of “deep state” saboteurs.

On yesterday’s edition of Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace interviewed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (video below). Much of the segment specifically addressed the question of leaks and what the Justice Department intends to do about them. Wallace sought to follow up on remarks made last week by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Those comments sparked some controversy for implying that journalists could be targeted for prosecution. Rosenstein walked that back a bit in the following exchange:

Wallace: Some of the people who engage in leaks, I don’t have to tell you, are not the members of the so-called ‘deep state’ or faceless bureaucrats inside intelligence agencies. They are White House officials. They are members of Congress. If you find any of them have committed these leaks – have disclosed classified information – will you prosecute?
Rosenstein: “What we need to look at in every leak referral we get, we look at the facts and circumstances. What was the potential harm caused by the leaks? What were the circumstances? That’s more important to us than who it is, than who is the leaker. So if we identify somebody, no matter what their position is, if they violated the law and that case warrants prosecution, we’ll prosecute them.
Wallace: Including White House officials and members of Congress?
Rosenstein: Including anybody who breaks the law.

If Rosenstein can be taken at his word, Donald Trump may be in even more trouble than previously thought. Leaks from any administration are made for a variety of reasons. It may be because someone is genuinely concerned about a course of action and has no other recourse to alter it. Sometimes a leaker is angling for position or acting out of vengeance. And sometimes leaks are deliberate attempts by the White House to disseminate information that it wants disseminated.

For example, Anthony Scaramucci, Trump’s short-lived communications director, recently outed his boss as a leaker. During an interview on CNN, Scaramucci defended Trump’s reluctance to concede that the Russians were responsible for hacking during last year’s election. He even offered “evidence” by way of an anonymous insider:

“You know, somebody said to me yesterday — I won’t tell you who — that if the Russians actually hacked this situation and spilled out those e-mails, you would have never seen it.”

That, of course, is grade AAA bullshit. Professional spies may be good at what they do, but they are not infallible. Scaramucci is suggesting that the Russians are so superior in their clandestine operations that their American counterparts are helpless yokels, incapable of facing off against the almighty Ruskies. But more important was what Scaramucci said next. After CNN’s Jake Tapper challenged Scaramucci’s hypocritical use of an anonymous source, the Mooch spilled the beans:

“How about it was – how about it was the President, Jake? I talked to him yesterday. He called me from Air Force One.”

So here we have a White House official admitting that the President was the source of a leak that disclosed inside information. Trump’s observations about the capabilities of Russian intelligence ought to be regarded as top secret. But this business was aired on national television at the behest of Donald Trump. On another occasion, Trump leaked classified data to Russian diplomats visiting the White House. This leak may have put intelligence assets of an ally at risk of discovery or termination.

Who knows what else the President might have leaked. Handing out information that advances the administration’s interest is an ago-old tactic. Dick Cheney did it to plant the lie that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. And Trump has his own media operation headquartered in the White House and led by Breitbart News chairman, Stephen Bannon. Remember, this is the same guy who used to call newspapers and pretend that he was a publicist working for, well, himself.

So if Trump is later found to be the source of leaks to the media, will the Department of Justice keep their word and prosecute him? That’s an open question for the time being. They have not been especially anxious to pursue criminal investigations of the President. And, of course, Trump remains poised to fire anyone he thinks is getting too close to the truth. In the end, it may only be possible to obtain justice with a truly independent counsel, or a Democratic congress. Stay tuned.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Will Donald Trump Renounce Pal Alex Jones’ Threat to ‘Kill a Bunch of Liberals’?

After six months the administration of Donald Trump has virtually nothing to herald as a success. His most prominent campaign promises (repeal ObamaCare, defeat ISIS, build a border wall) remain unfulfilled. But there is one area of accomplishment about which he can brag. The escalation of hatred directed by his followers to their fellow Americans is reaching new highs.

Alex Jones Infowars

The vitriol from the right has increased exponentially since the election of Trump. The Southern Poverty Law Center’s annual survey of hate groups shows an unprecedented rise fueled by Trump’s hostile rhetoric. And those groups are enjoying an association with mainstream politics they have never known. They are showing up on national television and at presidential press briefings. And they even have their own representatives in the White House. Trump’s alt-right hero and chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, has an office next to the oval one.

High on the list of radical alt-right wackos is conspiracy freak Alex Jones. On his radio broadcasts Jones unleashes a non-stop flurry of malicious rants and dark fantasies. He famously asserts that the Sandy Hook murders were a hoax complete with actors portraying children’s corpses. More recently he has been fixated on what he believes are the nascent ramblings of a new Civil War. Newsweek reports that:

“On June 23, he accused ‘the left’ of starting civil war and offered to personally execute convicted traitors because, he said, ‘I’m not going to sit here and just call for stuff without actually being part of it.’ In the same broadcast he said, ‘I don’t need some coming-of-age deal to kill a bunch of liberals,’ but ‘we have to start getting ready for insurrection and civil war because they’re really pushing it.'”

And . . .

“On June 15, he warned ‘you kick off Civil War 2, baby, you’ll think Lexington and Concord was a cakewalk.’ The day before, he implicated himself and his listeners: ‘You’re trying to start a civil war with people. You’re taking our kindness for weakness. Do you understand the American people will kill all of you? You understand? We are killing machines, you fools.… But I can shoot bull’s-eye at 400 yards, dumbass. I mean, they have no idea who they’re messing with.'”

In addition, Jones has called on the President to take action against Hillary Clinton and former FBI Director James Comey for unspecified crimes. “I would support the president making a military move on them right now,” Jones said. And the profane tirade he unloaded on Rep. Adam Schiff has to be seen to be believed.

Jones has crossed a line that may put him in legal jeopardy. It is against the law to threaten government officials. And his advocacy of violence toward anyone with whom he disagrees should earn immediate condemnation and social exile. However, Jones remains a confidant and ally of Donald Trump. He professes his undying loyalty on every show. Jones has claimed to be in frequent contact with the President. As for Trump, he has appeared on Jones’ Infowars program praising his “amazing” reputation. And an Infowars “correspondent” was actually granted a White House press pass.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Given the overt advocacy of violence by Jones, it is high time for Trump to renounce his association with him. No president can be allowed to get away with embracing such rhetoric without paying a price. The press needs to push Trump to take a public position condemning Jones and his sick promotion of terrorism. Absent such a statement, Trump should be labeled as a domestic terrorist for supporting civil war. Because under those circumstance, that’s exactly what he is.

‘You Treat Me Like a Baby,’ Whines an Infantile Donald Trump Before Firing Top Aide

A new book is shedding some light on the inner workings of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. And it isn’t pretty. Journalist Joshua Green’s account of the Trump campaign focuses heavily on his relationship with campaign advisor, and Breitbart News boss, Steve Bannon. Bannon was later hired to serve Trump in the White House as his strategic advisor. The book’s title, “Devil’s Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency,” says a lot about the nature of Bannon’s odious influence.

Trump/Bannon

The publisher’s description of the book’s contents evoke an unprecedented incursion of far-right fringe politics into the mainstream of the Republican Party. It casts Bannon as “a bomb-throwing pugilist who’d never run a campaign and was despised by Democrats and Republicans alike.” Here’s more:

“From the reporter who was there at the very beginning comes the revealing inside story of the partnership between Steve Bannon and Donald Trump—the key to understanding the rise of the alt-right, the fall of Hillary Clinton, and the hidden forces that drove the greatest upset in American political history.”

Excerpts from the book are already beginning to leak into the media. They tell us something about the volatile, profane character of Trump, and his hair-trigger temperament. That’s something he shares with Bannon who, at one point, lambasted House Speaker Paul Ryan as “a limp-d**k motherf**ker.” But some of the most hostile rhetoric was reserved for Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.

According to Green, there were episodes when Trump would fly off the handle due some negative press. On one occasion a story revealed the turmoil behind the campaign’s closed doors. “How can anybody allow,” Trump yelled at Manafort, “an article that says your campaign is all f—– up?” On another occasion Trump was upset at reports that some of his team were frustrated that they could not get him to listen. They told reporters that they had to book interviews on television in order to get the TV-obsessed candidate’s attention. This led to an outburst by Trump aimed directly at Manafort:

“Am I like a baby to you? I sit there like a little baby and watch TV and you talk to me? Am I a f—ing baby, Paul?”

Ironically, Trump’s tantrum was proving the accuracy of the criticism he was complaining about. It wasn’t long after that that Manafort was fired. And even that was an ordeal reminiscent of a soap opera. Trump’s son-in-law and consigliere, Jared Kushner, informed Manafort that he was “going to have to go.” Manafort was resistant complaining that a resignation would make it “look like I’m guilty.” But Kushner persisted and told Manafort that a press release would be going out in minutes announcing his resignation.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

The book promises to be as exciting and erratic as the characters it profiles. It would make a great cinematic thriller. Unfortunately, the plot does not make for a great presidency. It certainly doesn’t do anything to make America great again. But it does underscore the danger of putting a paranoid narcissist with no experience in the White House. And it reinforces the dire necessity of removing Trump from office before he does even more damage.